Nigeria’s Statistician-General and CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics, Dr Yemi Kale, on Tuesday, November 13th, made a rather controversial Twitter post informing Nigerians that the long-awaited unemployment report has not been released because there is no money allocated to his agency to this effect.
Dr Kale’s post was made in obvious reaction to those alleging that he had been instructed not to release the data ahead of the fiercely-contested 2019 elections.
He disputed this claim, telling everyone to stop making assumptions because nobody has instructed him to manipulate anything.
“You guys need to stop this. I know it’s election time but I’ve said this repeatedly. Nobody is calling me to manipulate any data or not to release any data. The work can’t be completed due to budgetary releases. It’s not hard to confirm when last we got data funding and how much.” – Kale
Note that the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics has not released any unemployment data since the beginning of 2018, making it almost a year since the last one was released in December. It is, therefore, unsurprising why Nigerians have been curious as to what is happening, especially considering the report is meant to be released every quarter.
The last report indicated that Nigeria’s unemployment as at Q3 2017 stood at 18.8%. This is the highest since 2010, the report said.
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Meanwhile, about 4.07 million Nigerians were said to have lost their jobs during this same period, thereby bringing the total number of unemployed Nigerians to some 15.99 million; up from 11.92 million in Q1 2017.
I don't envy Yemi Kale.
The current government has emasculated the organisation he leads.
You think a regime that has covered HUNDREDS of death of soldiers by BH will allow NBS bad news to continue unabated?
Others said they completely understand the delicate situation the Statistician-General is in. According to them, they do not wish to be him right now.
SG Yemi Kale is in one of those jobs where you can’t be right no matter what you do. If the numbers are good, government & their supporters are happy and they throw it around. The opposition are sad and they go after him. If the numbers are bad, the exact reverse happens.